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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Real potentials that the genuinely existing situation offers for transforming

larvalsubjects Says: May 27th, 2007 at 3:18 am With regard to your first question, I’m looking for a creative ontology, so there would be nothing but situations and the subsequent potentials they produce.
The second question is more complicated. I do understand what I’m doing to encompass both the social and the non-social. This is one of the reasons I often choose non-social examples as I believe that continental theory [wrongly] sutures everything else to the social. I do not believe that philosophy should be a branch of sociology or anthropology as a number in the French and German traditions conceive it, though I do believe that it should take social phenomena seriously as natural phenomena. I can’t get into the questions about human perception at the moment.
larvalsubjects Says: May 27th, 2007 at 4:23 am With the first question, it would be the latter option. There will be no point– that I can envision at the moment –where I will do the historical work necessary to fully account for the claims that I’m making in the way you describe. One can’t do everything. As an ontologist I’m more interested in the general framework, not the concrete details...
In my view there’s no such thing as a non-historical theory, however. I just take it that discussing the history of a thing is not always relevant or productive. You have yet to give an argument as to why it should be productive in all circumstances... In short, you have not shown me that there is productive value in the sort of historicization that you’re calling for...
larvalsubjects Says: May 27th, 2007 at 5:50 am Tusar, the examples I give such as the acorn and it’s environment are at the center of what I’m trying to talk about. What I’m trying to get at are actually existing conditions and their potentialities… What we find out there in the world in this particular situation. By contrast, Plato is talking about an ideal order of the State. I take it that there would be a very large difference between how India would be analyzed under the theory I’m proposing and under Platonic theory. Here I’m hesitant as I’m sure you know more than I. But under the perspective I’m proposing, we’d have to look at India’s concrete history, economics, geography, etc., to understand why India has formed a social system based on castes in just the way it has...By contrast, Plato is asking himself what the Ideal State is and is thus ignoring these sorts of local and historical conditions...
In addition to the sorts of questions I’m posing about how things came to be in a particular way, there are also questions of how situations might be changed. The question here is that of how we locate potentials within a situation for change. Here I am not alluding to abstract potentials, but the real potentials that the genuinely existing situation offers for transforming this particular form of organization.
larvalsubjects Says: May 27th, 2007 at 6:24 am For me one of the prime questions is that of how certain things might conceptually be made possible for people where before they weren’t. So as I see it, there are two different levels or scales of inquiry here. I get testy when I’m trying to develop something and I’m suddenly being confronted with what I perceive to be a question of “how did this become possible for you to think?” I don’t really care at the moment, I’m just trying to think it and I find this question distracting.
Yet I am deeply interested in the question of what rhetorical actions might be taken and what events might occur that open possibilities for a group of people. Hopefully this makes some sense and explains some of my bizarre psychology to you. I think, perhaps, that I’m a bit more experimentalist than you are. I tend to be a bit flighty and am happy to follow through on a concept to see where it leads without engaging in all the smoke and mirrors that would demonstrate what it is that warranted that decision in the first place.
I tend to think the critical stance is a kind of neurosis where one is engaging in endless propaeduetics and preparations without getting to the actual work, and that things prove themselves apres coup or after the fact in their results as “what will have been”. So in my view, the question is more, “what does this concept allow me to see and think?” rather than the question “is the concept adequate?” I take it that the inadequacy of a concept will show itself in practice and call for revision as a consequence.

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